Since the season opened early this year, we’ve experienced excellent natural snow conditions. The snow base is now 55 cm.

On January 6th,  2014 – impressive squalls coming off the relatively warmer waters of Georgian Bay dumped a heap of snow on the region.Jan 6, 2014 at Scenic Caves

The trail grooming team at Scenic Caves was out for 9 hours that day.

After the squalls, blue sky and plenty of fresh powder snow.

What is to blame for the powerful squall activity around Georgian Bay? The newest term being coined for the ice storms and frost quakes is ‘polar vortex’, nicknamed ‘polar pig’. The vortex is a whirlpool of cold Arctic air making its way south from Nunavut down through the prairie provinces into the States, creating rapid temperature drops and setting record lows.

So…is there a crystal ball to predict what’s ahead?

The Weather Network’s meteorologists pre-Winter Outlook for 2013/14:

“Most of Canada will experience a changeable, highly variable winter weather pattern meaning periods of storms offset by periods of quiet conditions. While temperatures for most of the country are expected to average close to normal over the winter season, both warm and cold extremes are likely at times.

The expected changeable winter weather pattern is partly due to a lack of El Niño or La Niña conditions in the tropical Pacific Ocean, which drive global weather patterns. This neutral condition, dubbed ‘La Nada’, means storm tracks are less established and persistent, which leads to highly variable weather in Canada.”

Before you head out, be sure to check out our website as well as weather reports in your travel region. Scenic Caves Nordic Centre posts daily trail reports and weather conditions on the website.

Also, check out these sources for road conditions in our area:

Ontario Ministry of Transportation: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/traveller/conditions/

Simcoe County: http://www.simcoe.ca/dpt/trs/conditions/index.htm#.UrNKnSV3utV

Grey County: http://www.grey.ca/services/taps/winter-road-conditions/?search=road